Lanning is ‘disappointed’ and ‘disappointed’ by Sciver-Brunt’s potential signing to the WBBL

 – Gudstory

Lanning is ‘disappointed’ and ‘disappointed’ by Sciver-Brunt’s potential signing to the WBBL – Gudstory

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Melbourne Stars captain Meg Lanning says she is “very disappointed” and “frustrated” with Nat Sciver-Brunt’s impending WBBL signing with the Perth Scorchers after the English star did not make herself available in the overseas draft where she could have been a Stars retention pick.

Sciver-Brunt did not nominate for either the WBBL’s inaugural September overseas draft or via the WBBL’s unique direct overseas nomination category in order to play in the competition this year. Under league rules, it was understood that if a player was not nominated for the draft or as a direct signing, he would not be able to play in the competition.

Players who initially missed the draft can be signed as replacement players overseas, as has been the case with several players including England’s Sarah Glynn at Brisbane Heat and Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapathu at Sydney Thunder.

Sciver-Brunt, 31, was highly sought after in the draft as one of the best players in the world and has played for both the Scorchers and Stars previously. Her last stint with the Stars was in 2020 where she helped them reach the final, and this would make her eligible to be retained by the Stars in the draft via the retention pick. However, she did not stand for the draft as it was understood she would use the WBBL period to rest due to a knee injury. Instead, the Stars drafted England duo Alice Capece and Maya Boshier and also directly signed England striker Sophia Dunkley to fill their three outfield positions.

When Sciver-Brunt suddenly became available to all clubs in the second half, the WBBL Scorchers had the salary cap space to sign him, although a deal had yet to be finalized. But it left Lanning and Stars angry at Sciver-Brunt and the WBBL.

“[We’re] “I was actually very disappointed,” Lanning said.

“She’s obviously one of the best players in the world and wants the best players to play in the competition,” Lanning said on Tuesday. “But she made herself unavailable at first.

“All the players of her caliber have been through the draft or pre-signed, and I don’t think she was in the running for it.

“As a club, as the stars, I certainly feel like we didn’t have the opportunity to exercise the retention rights that we would have given her had she been drafted instead of coming in that way.

“Not only does it affect us this year, it also affects us now because Perth have retention rights.

“It’s frustrating because I think the goal posts seem to change a little bit and we haven’t had the opportunity to get to them.

“It’s disappointing, but I think that’s the way it goes and we’re looking forward to playing Perth and playing well against them and the team.”

There was a first in the men’s BBL last year where an overseas player was signed and played in the competition despite not being considered for the draft. New Zealander Martin Guptill did not initially stand for the BBL overseas draft due to his New Zealand central contract but was released from that deal in November 2022, after the BBL draft was held.

“If there is a draft, you probably want to make sure it goes the way you planned, and I’m not sure that will happen in this case.”

Meg Lanning

The Melbourne Renegades drafted Liam Livingstone but lost him to international duty and were able to sign Guptill as a replacement.

Lanning was positive about the concept of an overseas draft in the WBBL but was steadfast in her belief that the rules should not change in its wake.

“I think that [draft] “The concept is good. I think it spreads the international players, really good international players, across different teams and creates some media and some talk, and the clubs have had to really strategize and put their different plans in place along the way,” Lanning said.

“I think that was a good thing. I’m not really sure if this is what we use going forward. But if there’s a draft, you might want to make sure it happens the way you planned. I’m not sure what happened in this case.”

Lanning was also strong on the fact that the WBBL should be shortened to a 10-game tournament in line with the men’s BBL among growing sentiments among female players that a 14-game tournament is too long.

“I think it should be 10 games, that’s just a personal opinion,” Lanning said. “Obviously there’s a lot of other things that go into it that maybe I don’t understand and, as players, we probably don’t deal with it as much as other people do. I think that would create a really good quality competition. I think 14 games is a very long time.” There seems to be a bit of a lull for most teams at some point in the season.

“Maybe it might make it more tempting for international players to come and be a part of it all the time as well.

“It’s an interesting discussion actually because I think a lot of people’s first reaction is that if you go to fewer games, you kind of drop back and fall back. But for me, it’s the opposite. I think that will actually create good quality competition.” “There’s no room for error in terms of playing I think, and you attract the best players and the games are the best to watch and play in. For me, that makes sense. But like I said, there’s a lot more that goes into those decisions than I probably know.” But it will be interesting to see how we get on the right track. “

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo


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